Grab your dual Berettas and scrunch your face up real hard, because oh me oh my Remedy have announced they're going to remake Max Payne and Max Payne 2. The remakes are still extremely early in development, so Remedy have little to say and even less to show, but all I need to know is: Max Payne, baby!
Released in 2001 with the sequel in 2003, Max Payne is the story of a hard-boiled New York City detective whose life somehow gets even worse after the murder of his wife and newborn daughter. He gets framed for murder, hunted by both the cops and the mob, and crunches an extraordinary number of painkillers.
As Alice Bee explained when Max Payne turned 20 last year, it's still extremely cool. Our boy is John Wooing all over in slow motion with guns akimbo and an inner monologue voiced by James McCaffrey, there's noir posturing aplently, and the comic book cutscenes are fun interludes. Also, this sounds weird to modern ears, but it genuinely was rare to have a shooter set in a modern city with no demons or aliens or lasers or ghosts or anything. It was a very pretty gritty NYC. We'll still tell you MP2 is one of the best action games too.
Remedy's announcement says they are remaking the first two Max Payne games "as a single title" for PC, PS5, and Xbox Xeriex XS inside their Northlight engine (as seen in Control). The remakes are still in "the concept development stage" so I wouldn't expect them anytime soon. And that's about all we know.
Remedy created Max Payne but the rights are owned by Rockstar, who went on to make 2012's Max Payne 3 by themselves. In our Max Payne 3 review, Jim Rossignol called Rockstar's game "an accomplished, expertly produced shooting gallery (with a few faltering steps) the likes of which we always have an appetite for" except for a gnawing hollow feeling. I'll be glad to see it back with Remedy.
"We were thrilled when our long-time friends at Remedy approached us about remaking the original Max Payne games," Rockstar Games co-founder Sam Houser said. "We are massive fans of the work the Remedy team has created over the years, and we can't wait to play these new versions."
The big question is: will Remedy writer Sam lake resume his role as Max's face in high-def? Didn't feel right when his virtuaflesh was recast for Max Payne 2. He's still got it:
Remedy are also revisiting their past with Alan Wake 2, coming in 2023.
Normally I'd be tempted to antagonise y'all by heading this article with a photo from the awful Max Payne movie with Mark Wahlberg, but I respect Max too much.